When I think of Valentine's Day, the last word that pops to my mind is "romance."
This might have something to do with the man I married. You see, I married my best friend. I married the love of my life. I married a strong, supportive partner. I married someone I knew would be an amazing father to our children. But I did not marry romance. Not in the "flowers and candy" sense of the word.
In our marriage, romance means one of us sneaking out of the room in the morning to get the boy and make coffee while the other one gets to sleep in. Romance means taking some time to do something thoughtful for each other, like Bill making sure he takes the trash out to the curb before heading out on a business trip, or me buying some wine and having one of Bill's favorite meals ready when he gets home from the airport. Romance means snuggling on the couch watching a good movie, or taking some extra time before getting up in the mornings just to lie in each other's arms. Romance means a thousand little everyday moments to let your significant other know how much you love him. We don't need Hallmark cards, expensive dinners with bad service, or ridiculously priced flowers to show our love for each other.
Another reason why I don't often think of romance in relation to Valentine's Day is because I associate so many other things with the 14th of February.
If you have been reading this blog for over a year, you might remember that Bill bought me our dog Aimee as a Valentine's Day present while we were still dating. My grandfather also died on February 14th.
Exactly three years ago today, we arrived in Kazakhstan and met the love of our lives, our son Dylan. On Valentine's Day, we signed the papers to continue pursuing his adoption.
So, if not "romance," what words do I relate with Valentine's Day? Well, there's "sorrow" and "bittersweet" (because of my grandfather); there's "commitment" and "forever" (because getting Aimee really solidified our relationship and took it to another level); there's "family," "children," and "fulfilled dreams."
Above all, there is "love."
I guess I do get into the spirit of the holiday after all.
Whatever Valentine's Day means to you, I hope you have a wonderful one!